Knoxville mayor-elect announces senior cabinet appointments

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – After confirming she would retain Knoxville’s police chief, fire chief and law director last week, Knoxville Mayor-elect Indya Kincannon has announced several additional members to her cabinet.

Mayor Kincannon’s senior leadership team will be structured around three Deputies: a Chief Operating Officer, a Chief Policy Officer, and a Chief Economic & Community Development Officer.

David Brace will continue in his role as Chief Operating Officer, a role he has held since 2017. Brace will oversee numerous City departments, including Public Service, Parks & Recreation, Engineering, Plans Review & Inspections and other operating departments.

Stephanie Welch will join the administration as Chief of Economic & Community Development. She will resign from her City Council position prior to stepping into her new role with the administration in mid-February. Welch will lead the City’s efforts to invest in Knoxville’s workforce and infrastructure in ways that catalyze private sector investment across the City while maintaining a focus on housing affordability, community wealth building, and inclusive economic development.

Erin Gill, the Director of Sustainability under Mayor Madeline Rogero, will serve as Chief Policy Officer and oversee Communications, Sustainability, and the Center for Service Innovation, as well as State/Federal legislative affairs and other projects. Also under Policy will be a new division of Community Empowerment, led by Charles Lomax, a former Knoxville-Knox County Planning Commissioner and City Council candidate. 

The three will join Police Chief Eve Thomas, Fire Chief Stan Sharp and Law Director Charles Swanson in the Mayor’s Cabinet. A Director of Community Empowerment, a Chief Financial Officer and a Director of Communications have yet to be announced.

Dr. Bill Lyons, who currently serves as Deputy to Mayor Rogero and Chief Policy Officer, will stay on as a Special Advisor to Mayor Kincannon through her transition.

Kincannon and the new City Council members will take the oath of office at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, at the Bijou Theatre. A reception will follow at the East Tennessee History Center.

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